Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court has deferred the hearing of an application in which Makerere University researcher, Dr Stella Nyanzi wants court to stay proceedings against her pending the determination of her constitutional case to Thursday 8th June 2017.
This is because prosecution’s Jonathan Muwaganya has not physically seen Dr.Nyanzi’s application to be in position to respond to it, which prompted Magistrate Ereemye to grant the state more time to prepare himself. She is asking Buganda Road Court Chief magistrate James Ereemye to halt the proceedings.
Dr.Nyanzi through her lawyers led by Peter Walubiri wants her case of cyber harrassment and offensive communication against the person of president M7 temporarily stayed until the until the Constitutional Court pronounces itself on a petition she filed challenging the Mental Treatment Act.
However the State wants Dr. Stellah Nyanzi’s mental status ascertained on grounds that a person of her stature cannot behave in such manner, unless she is mentally unsound.
However Dr. Nyanzi has since challenged Govt’s move insisting that its a violation of her rights.
On May, 24, 2017, Nyanzi filed an application requesting Buganda Road Court to stay her trial pending determination of her constitutional petition.
Nyanzi’s asked court to temporarily halt the proceedings against her on grounds that her constitutional petition would be rendered irrelevant if the court proceeds to hear the case under the mental treatment act (MTA).
Her lawyers led by Peter Walubiri submitted that Nyanzi would suffer irreparable damages that could amount to violation of her rights and freedom if the proceedings are not stayed.
In a petition filed against the Attorney General (AG) before the constitutional court, Nyanzi claims that sections 1 to 6, of the act, which provide for an inquiry into the person’s state of mind, adjudication of insanity, admission to mental hospital and compulsory detention of a person suspected to be of unsound mind, contravene the constitution.
“The constitution enshrines equal protection and treatment of all persons before the law as one of the fundamental tenets of our constitutional democracy,” Nyanzi contends.
Nyanzi avers that every person is guaranteed inherent and inalienable rights to liberty, dignity and protection from any degrading treatment and freedom of conscience and expression, which assures citizen’s freedom to think, speak, walk and work without fear of being arrested and detained.
Dr. Nyanzi contends that having taken plea and the lower court’s failure to discontinue the impugned inquiry under MTA was a travesty of justice intended to humiliate her, hence infringing on her right to a speedy trial.
Prosecution alleges that on January 28, 2017 in Kampala district or there about Nyanzi used a computer to post on her Facebook page and made a suggestion which is obscene or indecent under the law against the President.